At the Modern Language Association’s annual convention in December, Sahar Amer, A.B. and M.A. ’86, was awarded the 2009 Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for Comparative Literary Studies for her book Crossing Borders: Love between Women in Medieval French and Arabic Literatures (Univ. of Pennsylvania Press, 2008). Crossing Borders argues that a substantial body of Arabic erotic treatises was available to medieval France and became essential to Western European constructions of same-sex desire between women.
Amer, a professor of Asian and International Studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, has published and lectured widely on medieval French and Arabic literatures. Her previous monograph, published in 1999, is Esope au féminin: Marie de France et la politique de l’interculturalité.